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Mara's Homemade Blames BP, Bike Lanes, Taxes for Closure

East Village Cajun restaurant Mara's Homemade will close at the end of April. The sad news comes today in a letter from the owners to their friends and followers, in which they explain that the restaurant lost its lease over a year ago, and they're finally realizing they won't be able to relocate or renegotiate. In an interesting twist, they cite the BP explosion in the Gulf last year, the arrival of new bike lanes in the East Village, and property tax increases as reasons for the shutter.

Close watchers probably saw the writing on the wall when they hosted a pay what you will dinner back in November. Their letter is ahead:

Our family has enjoyed your patronage for the past seven plus years. Some of you have gone from first dates, to rehearsal dinners, weddings and baby showers with Mara's Homemade. We have thoroughly enjoyed sharing every occasion with you. You have given us so many fond memories.
It's with great sadness to inform you that our lease expired over a year ago. We accepted a short term lease to give us time to re-locate or negotiate a longer term with our current landlord. Since that time, the BP explosion took place, bike lanes were installed on First and Second Avenues which reduced parking and the signs of future property tax increases have occurred. In addition, our landlord has insisted he WILL raise the rent. We can no longer afford to stay in this location. We have not been able to find an affordable location in NYC at this time.
Therefore, we are announcing today that Mara's Homemade on 6th Street will be closing by the end of April. Until then, we will keep our menu exactly the same and continue to bring the fresh Gulf products here for you to enjoy. We informed our staff yesterday. They have all agreed to stay with us until the end. We hope to see you SOON!
Today we have a large shipment of crawfish, crabs, shrimp and oysters flying in for you to enjoy.
Look for Mara's Mini King Cakes being distributed by HBO on March 31st around the city in honor of the 2nd season of Treme which begins April 24th!
Follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook as we bring in Louisiana seafood and offer last minute specials.
Looking for NOLA music in NYC?
We LOVE cooking for YOU! See y'all soon!
· All Shutter Coverage [~ENY~]
[photo credit]

Mara's Homemade

342 East 6th St., New York, NY